Newbie to Camping? Don't be Intimidated. Top Tips for How to Prepare for Your First Camping Trip (Base Camping)
Types of Camping Experiences
Camping experiences can definitely be categorised under many different levels. However, for many of us, we probably will never forget our first camping experience.
Everybody's definition of camping may even differ! This blog article is here mainly to give some advice to new adventurers who have not yet done camping, are curious about camping, or are about to go to a camping event but has never been to one before!
A quick lookup at google search online shows us there are different sorts of camping such as:
- Dry camping
- Adventure Camping
- Canoe Camping
- Bicycle Camping
- Off Road, RV Camping
- Camping at your friend's living room (ok the team here added this)...the list goes on!
An example of simple base camping site to enjoy the nature and sceneries at a state national park would be parks such as Novaprosports Team's favourtie Wilson's Promontory National Park in Victoria. A camping site just to sit back, relax and getaway from the hustle and bustle of the city offering different type of campsites for different styles of outdoor adventurers.
Wilsons Promontory National Park, Victoria, Australia. A Famous Spot for Campers & Hikers
What is Base Camping?
With Base Camping, you find a spot (somewhere in the alpine within the mountains, or not faraway from rivers, beaches - you name it), set up your camping tent, layout your sleeping bags, camping kitchen with all your camping cookware, and any other luxuries you like such as showers etc and that area stays at your camping base. Usually this is common in national parks where you can leave all your heavy luxurious gears, and choose day hiking trails with a light day pack to explore the National Park, and then come back by end of the day back to the comfort of your camping base and supplies.
Other types of camping (which we will be covering in other posts) will be backpacking or overnight hikes. With these, you bring along a backpack and your camping gears as you pass through beautiful terrains. With this type of camping, you get to travel and traverse across more terrain, sometimes witnessing change in landscapes flora and fauna. One such infamous great trail will be our Great Ocean Road Trail.
Tips for Base Camping:
Tip: For luxury setups such as showers, or fire places, do note that some national parks even provide hot shower facilities, and some national parks do not allow open fires to be set up.
Depending on different areas of the national parks, facilities may differ as well. To be camping in places with facilities, it is normal to expect more crowds and especially families as it is easier to tend to family needs with washing facilities etc and bookings with fees are usually required to book these places. Bookings usually run out fast too and you have to book early for good spots in these areas.
If you prefer somewhere more remote to soak in the full nature, look for places without facilities, and free campsites (yay!)
Always do your research at your park's website before you go.
You can start from here: http://www.australia.gov.au/about-australia/australian-story/national-parks and scroll down to the "useful links" area with all the park's individual websites.
The easy thing with base camps is that you don't have to select expensive extreme ultralight hiking tents and you can set up large family tents, kitchen and all your camping comforts while you get the freedom to explore the park everyday.
Things to Consider When Going Base Camping
If this is your first time going to a base camp, definitely do some research on the area and terrain first. We'll be adding articles on locations for base camps so subscribe to keep updated! The main things to research and take note of is definitely:
1. Geographical location and Temperature (Keeping Warm)
Is it an outback bush area, beach side camp site (very near the beach, or a few kilometres inside sheltered by trees?), or is it an alpine area? Sometimes if you are unsure, it is good to give the parks a call (numbers on your state park's website).
All these matter as alpine areas tend to be cooler areas and you have to pack more warm clothing, especially at night when temperatures do fall. However, it is always good to bring some warm clothing whenever you are going in case temperatures drop at night. This is when good warm clothing and a good sleeping bag to keep you warm & snuggly are essential.
Some new campers may tend to think that you need a good tent to keep you warm. It may be true to a certain extent (some summer tents have too much air vents and windows that allow too much chilly winds in at night) but the essential camping gear to keep you warm are actually your sleeping bags. The tents do not insulate you as much as your sleeping bags so be sure to choose a good one that can insulate very well, you can find sleeping bags here.
Many bad camping experiences come from not bringing enough warm clothing and getting caught by the cold at night and thus losing a good night's sleep. We do need to have a good night's sleep to wake up fresh for the next day's adventure! As research do shows that male and females generally have different temperature comfort zones, do take note of that too!
An inflatable sleeping mat helps as well to a certain degree elevating you off the ground with a layer of air. There are also insulation mats you can place below the sleeping mats for the extra warmth. As at time of writing, Novaprosports will be bringing insulation mats in the very near future.
2. Choosing a Good Tent
We will be exploring this topic in other articles focused on camping gears later on, so keep updated by subscribing to our newsletters.
3. Bring Enough Water
It is not always lucky to be able to camp next to the river. Even if so, consider the need of water for washing, cooking etc. Brushing your teeth etc. Especially for base camping sites where there are no facilities. Some base camping sites in the bush do not have easy access or have no access to water as well! A good way is to bring 2-3L containers for washing purpose and you can easily get these tanks from bunnings or other camping stores. Drinking water is of course another matter, remember to stock up on these too! The amount will definitely be dependent on how much you use per day and how many person you are providing for.
4. Positioning your tent in the camping ground.
Consider trees as a sun shelter when building your tent. Especially in hot summers, you want to be under the shadow of a tree when the sun is scorching hot in the afternoon. Otherwise, the sun may shine directly onyour tent and you might find yourself a greenhouse where your tent is pegged directly under the sun and you can't take a siesta in there. Of course, unless you prefer to siesta in your hammock sheltered among the trees.
Avoid wind channels. Certain places especially near beach and between trees may have wind channels. These are places where it is particularly windy sometimes in between trees. It may be hard to tell sometimes, but do your best. If you think you are in between trees and the area seems to be particularly windy, it may be better to build your tent somewhere else.
Depending on the type of tent, sometimes positioning your door opening away from the wind is a good idea. This is especially true for our Illumina Amber X camping tent, Amber Y camping tent and Ranger Y camping tent models.
What was your first camping experience like? What did you love or disliked about your first camping experience? Where is your favourite camping spot? Any helpful tips to add to help first time camping newbies here? Feel free to post your comments below.
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